Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Timothy Atherton ~ Immersive Landscapes


A bit of Finnegans Wake where Joyce is playing with the influence of Beckett as well as with words:

"...the farther back we manage to wiggle the more we need the loan of a lens to see as much as the hen saw. Tip. You is feeling like you was lost in the bush, boy? You says: It is a puling sample jungle of woods. You most shouts out: Bethicket me for a stump of a beech if I have the poultriest notions what the farest he all means. Gee up, girly! The quad gospellers may own the targum but any of the Zingari shoolerim may pick a peck of kindlings yet from the sack of auld hensyne."

It somehow speaks to what I am trying to do, even while I still don't quite grasp it....! The idea of "bethicketted"

Growing up beside tidal marshland on the English Channel I was always drawn more to the salt marshes with their low surrounding scrub and wind battered trees and to small dense moorland copses rather than to the big ancient forests of Britain. And so northern boreal forest has a familiar echo with its low, thick, dense, tangled scrub that resonates with something ancient.

But to try and impose order on this messy and unordered view seemed a mistake. I found I enjoyed the aparent the disorder, the fine detail spread over the whole image and allowing the eye to wander over the whole field without finding a clear point of rest.


The trees lack height and substance. There are no massive oaks or giant redwoods to anchor the forest either physically or visually - no forest canopy - and the northern forest lacks a dark dense forest floor. Instead the harsh oblique summer sunlight angles through and reaches all but its deepest parts giving areas of strong shadow and highlight. The results are what I’ve come to call "immersive" landscapes where the whole wide image is provides lots of smaller and hopefully interesting subplots over and against the overall story that the picture is telling.

See more Bethicketted

FEATURED COMMENT: Jim Jirka wrote: "I really do not know why I am so drawn to this type of image. ??? Oh yes I do. ;-)" - please see Jim's photograph above.

And, Jim, please tell us "why (you) are so drawn to this type of image..."

7 Comments:

Anonymous Eric Fredine said...

The boreal forest overwhelms my senses. Increasingly, I think it makes me feel claustrophobic - which given it's vastness is kind of goofy. I think it's because it challenges my photographic sensibilities.

I'd argue that photographing these evironments in B&W constitutes a partial capitulation to order. But I applaud the embrase of chaos all the same.

Good to see your work here Tim.

BTW: the viewer your using isn't happy with Firefox - looks fine in IE.

Cheers,
Eric

11/07/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

Wonderful collection of unordered chaos. I really do not know why I am so drawn to this type of image. ???
Oh yes I do. ;-)

11/07/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger paulraphael said...

"I really do not know why I am so drawn to this type of image. ???"

Because the Finnegan's Wake passage makes the picture so accessible?

A few others among us at the Contemporary Landscape board have a thing for getting tangled in twigs. Worth checking out John Brownlow's work:
http://www.johnbrownlow.com/

11/07/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger paulraphael said...

"I really do not know why I am so drawn to this type of image. ???"

Because the Finnegan's Wake passage makes the picture so accessible?

A few others among us at the Contemporary Landscape board have a thing for getting tangled in twigs. Worth checking out John Brownlow's work:
http://www.johnbrownlow.com/

11/07/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle Parent said...

I love these! I really like these types of images a lot too, but I don't think I have very much success in creating them. I really like the use of B&W too. There's a wonderful luminence captured that really comes through in the B&W format, yet almost a sketch like quality at the same time. Just lovely and mystical!

11/07/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

I enjoy complicated, chaotic scenes. They have always excited me. As Mark Hobson once said, "why give order to the chaos, since Mother Nature doesn't really care". Sorry if it is quoted a bit differently.

I try to fill the frame with a pleasing and somehow controlled explosion of detail.

Paul: I have looked at John Brownlow's work. I think you had a link in Large Format forum. Or you made mention of it. I enjoyed that as well.

11/07/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin Wiggett said...

Wonderful circular movement to this piece, like a complex whirling musical piece. It is simple yet complex, stark yet inviting. This would be fn to have on a wall so you can get lost in the journey of looking. Darwin

11/08/2006 03:53:00 PM  

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